Green Garioch Candidates Announced

Aberdeen and Aberdeenshire Green Party has announced its candidates for the East and West Garioch wards.

Dr Martin Ford will stand in East Garioch, while Richard Openshaw will stand in West Garioch.

Councillor Ford, who has a Ph.D. in plant ecology, has been a councillor since 1999, and lives near Hatton of Fintray with his wife Gina. Mr Openshaw, who lives in Kemany, works in retail and is a keen hillwalker.

Cllr Ford has sat as an independent since January 2009, when he left the Liberal Democrats. During the summer of 2009, he led the fight against Donald Trump’s bid to evict his neighbours using compulsory purchase.

Later in 2009, he was short-listed for the Scottish Councillor of the Year award which is given in recognition of ‘outstanding and innovative public service’.

Cllr Ford said although it had been a “privilege” to represent East Garioch, the last five years had seen some “shocking” behaviour from some fellow councillors.

“I never expected in my role as an Aberdeenshire councillor to have to campaign against compulsory purchase orders being used to help a developer force local families from their homes”, he said.

“Nor did I expect to be removed from the chair of the Infrastructure Services Committee because most of my colleagues refused to vote on the matter and abstained. That was a deeply unpleasant experience.

“What has really made the last five years stand out is the importance of the issues in the spotlight; investment in schools, planning, democracy and good governance, sustainability and residents’ human rights - these are things that matter.

“What I have tried to do throughout my time as a councillor is to take decisions in accordance with liberal, democratic and environmental principles. It is what I promised to do if I was elected. It is what I will do again if I am re-elected on 3 May.”.

Mr Openshaw said he was “delighted” at his selection, that he believed residents had “been let down by many current councillors” and that it was “time for a change.”

“The Council must give higher priority to investment in schools and meeting its environmental obligations”, he said.